June 3, 2014
Reading Beyond the Headlines: A look at mobile devices
The headline is: Most Districts Have Deployed Mobile Tech, Want More.
As the second paragraph explains, “the number of districts reporting that at least one-quarter of their schools had deployed mobile devices had risen to 71 percent, up from 60 percent in 2013. Forty-four percent of districts surveyed said that approximately 75 percent of their schools had deployed mobile technology.”
To its credit, the end of the article notes “The report was created using the responses from 332 educators to an online survey,” and the report discusses the research methods in its opening pages, and provides respondent numbers for each question of the survey.
Still, 332 respondents represents about 2% of all districts in the United States. In addition, a few questions were answered by a small percentage of all respondents, so for some questions the response rate is well under 1%. There is also a likely response bias issue, in that someone who is implementing mobile technology may be more likely to respond to a survey about mobile technology than someone who is not.
Despite all these caveats, the information is valuable. More information is better than less. You just have to read beyond the headlines to make sure that you know how to use the data.
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